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Giving Integrity A Voice

Examples of Integrity: Lawrence ODonnell vs MSNBC

Calling out his network’s part owner, General Electric, Lawrence O’Donnell took an integrious stand on his show Friday, when he dedicated an entire segment to expose and dissect the fact that GE paid $0 in taxes in 2010.  GE is currently the largest corporation in America, and made $14.2 billion wordwide last year, but will not pay any in taxes in 2010. The NY Times broke the story last week, “GE’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether.” With America deeply in debt, and the recent barage of U.S. treasury money printing to keep the markets liquid and stable, how can it allow the largest and possibly the most profitable corporation to get away with paying $0 in taxes? Well for starters G.E. has a staff of 975 tax lawyers and their tax return was 24000 pages long. As O’Donnell points out, the IRS does not have the ability or manpower to analyze a return this large, and GE is taking advantage of many tax loopholes that they lobbied to put into effect in the first place. His finishes the segment by stating that the problem is that the tax code allows this sort of thing and says “perhaps GE’s outragiously legal tax return will provoke real tax reform in Washington.” I hope he is right.

Paul Abrams noted on his HP blog, Finally, Integrity: Lawrence O’Donnell Criticizes His Network’s Owner for Paying No Taxes, that “Now, that is integrity writ-large, for which O’Donnell should be recognized and applauded. It is rather pathetic that integrity has become such a rare commodity in our public discourse that it is now a special event, worthy of praise and recognition. But, O’Donnell has earned himself a place at the top of his profession for this.”

I cannot say that I am familiar with Mr. O’Donnell’s show, work, or personal character, but the mere fact that he is focusing on the hypocrosy of his employer/owner shows a certain amount of integrity. Granted, he might be making a calculated move to earn public favor, you never know these days with public figures and the media, but the fact remains that he is taking the bull by the horns on this issue and seems to be reporting the straight up truth. I must comment here that although it seems plain as day that GE is exhibiting a lack of integrity here, more diligence and discernment would be required to make this assertion because there are so many overlapping issues at stake, but more importantly this blog is focused on identifying integrious examples, rather than the unintegrious ones.

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One Comment

  1. Interesting! I wonder if he’ll suffer any consequences for calling GE out like that. How can they get out of paying their taxes but I make NO money and have to pay? BS!

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